Pacific Discovery Gap Year Programs are epic!

Our gap year programs combine rugged journeys to some of the most spectacular places on earth, with authentic cultural immersion, language study, rewarding service-learning volunteer projects, and inspiring adventures. You’ll be secure in a supportive group environment and learn more than you ever dreamed.

These gap semesters are based on the concept of experiential education, and blend cultural immersion, personal and leadership development, volunteer and community service projects, ecotourism and sustainability focus, and transferable academic credit options.

They provide opportunities for meaningful connections with local people, pushing personal boundaries, and gaining knowledge of a country or region's history, societies and environments, facilitated by our knowledgeable Program Instructors.

If you are looking for an experience that challenges you, broadens your horizons, and merges cultural insights and environmental sensitivity with fun and adventure - come and explore with us!

Join us on a gap year program after high school or college. These educational semester programs are perfect for high school graduates, gap year students, college students, and graduates, ideally 17 -22 years.

For an incredible gap year, you can combine each gap year program with another of our exciting Fall Semester Programs exploring Central America, South America, Nepal, Spain, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific!

Not sure where you want to go? Our newest Program Quiz can help you find your perfect Program match! Or get the full Fall Program run-down in our catalogue. This catalogue provides information about Pacific Discovery's values and program design, as well as program descriptions and testimonials!

Request Online Catalogue

For your peace of mind

  • Check out our full COVID-19 policy.
  • We have been running successful gap year programs in Spring, Summer and Fall 2021. The students shared their experiences in testimonials and wrote their stories down in blog posts - feel free to have a look! 
  

Top Rated Gap Year Organization

Thailand Mini Semester

Thai Culture, Jungle Trekking & Elephant Volunteering

✓ Scuba diving course in the the clear waters of Southern Thailand
✓ Rewarding volunteer project working with elephants at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Try your hand at Muay Thai (or Thai boxing), the country’s national sport
✓ Hike and tube in the amazing jungle, rivers and lakes of Khao Sok National Park
✓ Find inner peace during a yoga and Buddhist meditation retreat
✓ Learn about the coral and mangrove population in Thailand, and help to replant some of them

Spring Dates 3 Mar - 13 Apr, 2022
2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 13 Oct - 23 Nov, 2022

Program Tuition $9,750 USD
Availability Open

Costa Rica Mini Semester

Surfing, Adventure & Animal Volunteering

✓ Rewarding conservation volunteer project working with an animal rescue center
✓ A kayaking adventure week through the Golfito area of southern Costa Rica
✓ Bioluminescence adventure on the coast of Costa Rica
✓ The opportunity to see dolphins on our very own dolphin spotting activity
✓ Hands-on marine conservation work in the pristine Curu wildlife refuge
✓ 3-day river rafting expedition in one of the best places in the world for white water rafting

Spring Dates 3 Mar - 13 Apr, 2022
2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 13 Oct - 23 Nov, 2022

Program Tuition $9,750 USD
Availability Open

Hawaii Mini Semester

Surfing, Agriculture & Sustainable Living

✓ Get outdoors and learn about sustainable farming techniques on a permaculture farm
✓ Prepare a local Imu feast where we take the food from ground to table
✓ Practice yoga and meditation in Hilo
✓ Surf Lessons based in Kona, the sunny district on Hawai’i Island
✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation and restoration of local ecosystems
✓ Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by learning about the heritage, history and importance of canoes


Spring Dates 3 Mar - 13 Apr, 2022
2 Mar - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 13 Oct - 23 Nov, 2022

Program Tuition $9,750 USD
Availability Open

Central America Gap Semester

Mexico, Belize, Guatemala & Costa Rica

✓ Volunteer with sloths and monkeys at an animal rescue center
✓ Explore the underwater world and become PADI dive certified
✓ Get interactive Spanish lessons to give you a more connected experience
✓ Witness volcanoes glowing in the dark from your tent
✓ Investigate sustainable agriculture and its importance in developing communities
✓ Go on a yoga and meditation journey by the highland volcano crater Lake Atitlan

Spring Dates 3 Feb - 13 Apr, 2022
2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

South America Gap Semester

Peru, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands

✓ Bike and trek the Inca Jungle Trail towards the spectacular Machu Picchu
✓ Volunteer project with an indigenous community in the Andes
✓ Spanish language immersion while traveling through South America
✓ Rafting expedition on the Jatunyacu River in the Amazon Basin
✓ Help hands-on with a conservation and sustainability project in Peru
✓ Visit islands, kayak, snorkel and get up-close with local wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

Spring Dates 3 Feb - 13 Apr, 2022
2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

Hawaii Gap Semester

Snorkeling, Surfing & Sustainable Living

✓ Get hands-on in marine conservation and restoration of local ecosystems
✓ Snorkel the reefs and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, manta rays and turtles
✓ Surf Lessons based in on the North Shore of Oahu
✓ Get outdoors and learn about sustainable farming techniques on a permaculture farm
✓ Stargaze on top of the highest peak in the world, Mauna Kea
✓ Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by learning about the heritage, history and language

Spring Dates 3 Feb - 13 Apr, 2022
2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023
Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

Thailand Gap Semester

Thai Culture, Diving & Elephant Volunteering

✓ Rewarding volunteer project working with elephants at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Learn to dive in the clear waters of southern Thailand
✓ Delve deep into Thai cuisine with an authentic cooking workshop and a culinary tour
✓ Work with an organization that helps to break the cycle of poverty in Thailand
✓ Hike and tube in the amazing jungle, rivers and lakes of Khao Sok National Park
✓ Explore the best islands and beaches in southern Thailand

Spring Dates 3 Feb - 13 Apr, 2022

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

New Zealand & Australia Gap Semester

Canoeing, Surfing & Conservation

✓ Rewarding volunteer conservation projects in National Parks and wildlife reserves
✓ Snorkeling with turtles and tropical fish in Byron Bay
✓ Epic West Coast road trip with stops at impressive blow holes and Franz Josef glacier
✓ Attending a Maori indigenous cultural performance and traditional hangi feast
✓ Learning to ride waves during a 4-day surf camp in Australia's East Coast
✓ A stay at Pacific Discovery's very own environmental center in the Marlborough Sounds

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

Polynesian Journey Gap Semester

Hawaii, Fiji & New Zealand

✓ Relax your muscles in New Zealand's natural hot springs and mud pools
✓ Get your hands dirty during a sand dune conservation project in Fiji
✓ Snorkel with manta rays in the reefs of Kona, Hawaii
✓ Get led by a Fijian local through Tapa marking and a Kava ceremony
✓ Practice local farming techniques at a permaculture farm in Hawaii
✓ Attend a Maori (indigenous) cultural performance with a powerful display of haka song and dance

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

Australia & Bali Gap Semester

Island Hopping, Surfing & Conservation

✓ Rewarding conservation and wildlife volunteer project in National Parks
✓ Yoga and meditation retreat in Bali’s tropical Ubud
✓ Island hopping and snorkeling in the spectacular Whitsunday Islands
✓ Experience life and work with animals on an outback station
✓ 4WD-safari along beaches and freshwater lakes on Fraser Island
✓ Get involved in marine conservation in the world-famous Great Barrier Reef

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

Southeast Asia Gap Semester

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia

✓ Care for elephants during a volunteer project at an elephant sanctuary
✓ Explore the superb temples of Angkor Wat
✓ Buddhist meditation retreat run by Thai monks in Chiang Mai
✓ Trekking through Northern Laos with visits to ethnic minority villages
✓ Explore the best islands and beaches in southern Thailand
✓ Help local students with English language support

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open

Spain Gap Semester

Spanish Language, Cuisine & Culture

✓ Traverse Spain and visit the history filled cities of Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona
✓ Partake in service projects specializing in the agricultural issues facing Spain
✓ Spanish lessons and cultural orientation in Alcala de Henares
✓ Get a Pilgrim's Credential for walking part of the iconic Camino de Santiago
✓ Learn to dance the dance of Spain with flamenco lessons in Sevilla
✓ Experience Spanish cuisine like a local on a tapas tour and paella workshop

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $14,495 USD
Availability Open

Nepal Gap Semester

Trekking, Rafting & Yoga

✓ 16-day trek through spectacular Himalayan mountains and villages
✓ Rafting journey on the Kali Gandaki, one of the holiest rivers in Nepal
✓ Yoga, meditation and Buddhism immersion at a monastery near Kathmandu
✓ Spot rhinos in Royal Chitwan National Park, home to rhino, elephants and tigers
✓ Explore Kathmandu’s World Heritage historic sites
✓ Volunteer project with language and cultural exchange focus in the foothills of the Himalayas

Fall Dates 15 Sep - 23 Nov, 2022
Spring Dates 2 Feb - 12 Apr, 2023

Program Tuition $13,500 USD
Availability Open